Dark Stout Bread Recipe

This stout bread is dense, fragrant, full of seeds and has a complex flavour.

Rye bread is one of my favourite breads ever. I grew up eating bread like this. And it was one of the first breads I ever baked. It is so simple, but in this recipe, I have made it even simpler and fool proof. The rich darkness comes from black treacle, cocoa powder and of course the dark stout. The seeds pop between your teeth as you bite into it.

The best part is that it is so customizable. You can replace the treacle with malt syrup or honey. You could use any seeds that you like.

This recipe makes a large loaf. You can halve it if you like. I would suggest using a loaf tin that is rather longer and wider, than higher and narrower. That way the loaf will have an easier time baking. But as I demonstrate in the video a narrow and high tin works well too.

If you have a thick bottomed pan or a thick tray, or even a baking stone, then use that as a base for baking on. It is always advisable to bake bread on a solid hot surface. But if you do not have any of those, then do not worry as it will work regardless. You might just have to bake it for slightly longer.

Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.


For the dough

400g (14.1oz) wholemeal rye flour

100g (3.5oz) strong white bread flour

50g (1.75oz) black treacle

20g (0.7oz) vegetable oil

6g (0.2oz) cocoa powder

12g (0.4oz) salt

3g (0.1oz) dry yeast or 3x the amount of fresh yeast

30g (1oz) toasted pumpkin seeds

40g (1.4oz) toasted sunflower seeds

30g (1oz) linseeds

8g (0.3oz) fennel seeds

60g (2.1oz) toasted walnuts

500g (1.1lb) stout at around 31C (88F) if your kitchen is around 20C (68F)

To learn more about dough temperature control click here.


  1. In a bowl combine the stout, yeast, salt, treacle, cocoa powder, and oil. Mix well.
  2. Add the seeds and white flour and mix well. You want to mix all the ingredients well before adding the rye flour.
  3. Add the rye flour and mix until you do not see any dry flour. Pour into your non-stick paper lined baking tin. Desired dough temperature 26C (79F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
  4. Cover and ferment for 3.5 – 4 hours. During the final hour of fermentation preheat your oven and your baking vessel (if using) to 160C (320F) fan on.
  5. You can glaze the loaf with 1 teaspoon of treacle mixed with 1 teaspoon of water to make the top crust extra rich. This is optional.
  6. Bake the loaf for 1 hour in the tin. Remove it from the tin and bake for 30 more minutes. If your oven is more powerful, then perhaps it may take you less time. A sure way to tell if your loaf is ready is by measuring its core temperature. If it reads above 94C (200F), then it is ready.
  7. Brush the loaf with oil to make it nice and shiny. This is optional too.
  8. Let it cool down completely before cutting. I left it for 12 hours. If you cut it too early the inside will be gummy.



This kind of bread will keep fresh for almost a week. Because we are not using a preferment it will not last as long as other rye breads. We are trading convenience for keeping quality.

If you would like your bread to keep for longer and have a sourer flavour, then you can check out my other rye bread recipes. I have yeasted versions made with preferment and I have a sourdough version too.

Watch the video here

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